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Peace of Mind Organizing

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Articles tagged with routines

Worth repeating: Making mornings more productive

27 February 2017 | Comments [0] »

I wrote this post in October 2014 and I think it’s worth posting again. Over the couple of years, I’ve really noticed that what I decide to do first in the morning is the thing that actually gets done. I’ll blog, if blogging is a priority. Sometimes I make sure to do family history research first (because sometimes that’s a priority). I’m happy to be posting this at 8 am, so I can move on to a great day!

I don’t know about you, but if my mornings don’t go well, the rest of the day usually follows suit. I’m a morning person and I typically can get a lot done in the morning. But if I don’t, it’s hard to reboot the day and make up for it in the afternoon.

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Trying to catch up

14 July 2015 | Comments [3] »

So that’s a long-winded way of saying I’ve done no admin work for almost a month, my email is piling up and who knows how many balls I’ve let drop. Thank goodness I don’t get much snail mail, so I don’t have a daunting pile of mail to deal with.

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Linking new habits to old

18 May 2015 | Comments [2] »

A few years ago, I wrote a post about how I was able to create a habit of doing an unpleasant (but necessary) task by linking it to something I was already doing. (That habit was cleaning up the back yard after my dog.)

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Regaining control of my office

18 December 2014 | Comments [0] »

I strive every day to whittle my email inbox down to zero. It’s a strategy that has worked well for me for going on four years.

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Revisiting personal kanban

24 October 2014 | Comments [2] »

Back in 2010, I discovered personal kanban , a system of visual task management that I used for awhile. In a nutshell, I divided a large whiteboard into three sections, Backlog, Doing, and Done. Then I’d use Post-It® notes to write down individual tasks and move them through the process.

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Making mornings more productive

15 October 2014 | Comments [0] »

I don’t know about you, but if my mornings don’t go well, the rest of the day usually follows suit. I’m a morning person and I typically can get a lot done in the morning. But if I don’t, it’s hard to reboot the day and make up for it in the afternoon.

So I got to thinking today about optimal ways for me to spend my valuable morning time. And I also thought about strategies for getting right to it in the morning.

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Building in re-entry time after a trip

29 September 2014 | Comments [0] »

I was out of town for five days in mid-September. I’ve been back a week and I still don’t have my mojo back.

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A key to keeping surfaces clear

1 July 2014 | Comments [0] »

If you click on the clean bureau tag to left on this blog, you’ll see that pretty much every year one of my goals is to put my clothes away properly at night and keep the top of the bureau clear.

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Worth repeating: Letting routines help me get my mojo back

5 December 2013 | Comments [1] »

I’ve been away from home about a week visiting family in Washington state. After a couple of half-days of travel, I’ll be home on Saturday. This blog post, which I wrote a couple of years ago at the end of the trip, reflects how I still feel about getting back into the swing of things. I’m happy to say that I didn’t leave my office in such disarray this time, but I am coming to a full week of client appointments. My routines will keep me sane!

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Do you resist routines?

9 August 2013 | Comments [2] »

I know that for a certain number of people, the word “routine” conjures up bad feelings. Used as an adjective, it can mean non-special, ordinary, even boring.

Think about it as a noun, though. Does the idea of having a routines—a group of habits you do one right after the other—seem boring or constraining? I hear that from people sometimes. But in my view, routines are the opposite. They’re almost magical because they make my life so much easier.

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My evening routine: It's how I stay on my game

1 July 2013 | Comments [0] »

I do three things almost every weeknight at the end of the work day that help me to stay on top of my business, start the day feeling productive, and reduce the stress in my life. These three habits have a lot to do with my really enjoying being an entrepreneur. They are:

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Worth repeating: Just do something!

26 June 2013 | Comments [0] »

While I did finally join a gym, the message of this two-year-old blog post is still worth repeating. Whether it’s exercise, filing, or processing email, doing something is always better than doing nothing.

Some effort is better than no effort. That’s the philosophy I’m embracing at the moment when it comes to exercise. For some reason, I’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon, despite the fact that I’ve put on a few pounds and so am reminded of the need to exercise on a very regular basis.

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Now open for registration: Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines

21 June 2013 | Comments [1] »

Having great habits and routines is the key to living an easy life. I believe this whole heartedly and I talk to anybody who’ll listen about how important it is to make tasks automatic by creating well-established habits and routines.

In 2011 I created and taught a fun online workshop for Simplify 101 called Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines. I’m delighted to announce that it’s being offered again, for the fourth time. This session runs from August 15 through September 12. You can sign up now and get early-bird pricing (20 percent off!) through June 26.

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Come see me live and in person (or on the phone)!

13 February 2013 | Comments [0] »

There must be something in the air. In the four weeks between February 28 and March 28 I have five speaking engagements. You can read all about them on the Events page of this website.

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Worth repeating: The magic of linking new routines to old

4 January 2013 | Comments [0] »

Two years ago, I created a life-enhancing habit. At the time, I wrote a blog post about how I went about doing it. I’m happy to say that my poop-scooping routine is going strong, so I thought at this time of year, it was worth repeating that post. The magic of linking new routines to old works on any habit, not just poop scooping. I invite you to give a thought to how you might apply it in your life!

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Adapting to the new normal

13 August 2012 | Comments [0] »

It’s amazing what adaptable creatures humans are. When circumstances change, we change our standards.

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Get a free sample of Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines!

24 July 2012 | Comments [0] »

As I’ve discussed here before, I’m teaching an online workshop on the fabulous website, Simplify 101, called Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines. In this three-lesson, four-week workshop, students will learn how to decide on what beneficial habits they’d like to develop, get support and accountability to develop them, and also how to link habits to routines. They’ll also learn how to kick habits that are less beneficial.

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Two ways to learn from me about habits and routines

5 July 2012 | Comments [0] »

I think creating great habits and routines is the key to the good life. I tell clients that I can help them declutter, but unless they change their behavior—and that typically encompasses establishing new habits and routines—disorder will once again reign.

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Another chance to Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines

18 June 2012 | Comments [2] »

In 2011 I created and taught a fun online workshop for Simplify 101 called Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines. I’m delighted that it’s being offered again, for the third time. This session runs from July July 19 through August 16. You can sign up now and get early-bird pricing (20 percent off!) through June 26.

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Taking the show on the road (to Portland)

15 June 2012 | Comments [0] »

In April, Shannon Wilkinson and I taught a three-hour in-person workshop in St. Louis called Create Freedom and Ease with Habits and Routines. It was very successful and we enjoyed it so much we wanted to do it again. So now we’re offering it in Portland, Oregon, where Shannon lives, on Friday, August 3.

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A very special opportunity

19 March 2012 | Comments [0] »

I’m really excited to be offering a special in-person workshop with my friend and Declutter Happy Hour partner, the fabulous life coach Shannon Wilkinson.

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Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines workshop now open

19 January 2012 | Comments [0] »

Last fall I developed and taught a fun online workshop for Simplify 101 called Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines. I’m delighted that it’s being offered again, February 21 through March 20. You can sign up now and get early-bird pricing (20 percent off!) through January 27.

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Creating habits and routines

7 November 2011 | Comments [0] »

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I’m practically fanatical about the benefits of good habits and routines.

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Letting routines help me get my mojo back

26 September 2011 | Comments [2] »

I’m a huge believer in the value of routines. They keep my life running smoothly. But right now, my routines are all messed up. I was away for a week, attending the ICD conference. Then I was home for four days and too busy to focus on my surroundings. Then I left home for a lovely, relaxing weekend in Nashville with friends.

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Very excited: My new habits + routines workshop for Simplify 101

31 August 2011 | Comments [0] »

I can barely contain my excitement: I can finally announce that I’ll be teaching a fun online workshop for Simplify 101 called Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines! The workshop will be offered October 4 through November 1. You can sign up now and get early-bird pricing through September 8.

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It's okay to let go of routines occasionally

19 August 2011 | Comments [0] »

I’m a huge believer in the power of routines. I try to stick to the ones I’ve established religiously, since I find that sometimes it’s challenging to jump back on the bandwagon once a routine has been disrupted.

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Unclutterer guest post on routines

12 August 2011 | Comments [2] »

I make no secret of the fact that I love Unclutterer.com. It’s a smart, informative blog on living simply and I read it regularly. The editor, Erin Doland, does an amazing job with keeping the daily content fresh.

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Unclutterer's "Keystone Demise"

22 June 2011 | Comments [0] »

I love the blog Unclutterer. Erin Doland, who writes most of the posts, is so smart and such a great writer. I love her perspective on striving to live a clutter-free life.

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If it stops working, change it up!

17 June 2011 | Comments [0] »

Organization systems, as well as habits and routines, are usually set up with current circumstances in mind. When circumstances change, the systems or routines might fall apart. In other words, life takes zigs and zags and if systems keep going straight, they’re not going to work.

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The adhesive properties of routines

14 June 2011 | Comments [0] »

I forgot to blog yesterday. I’ve been blogging every Monday, Wednesday and Friday since December 27. Then, last week, I made a conscious decision to skip Wednesday’s and Friday’s posts and just do one post on Thursday (about that conscious decision).

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Just do something

23 May 2011 | Comments [3] »

Some effort is better than no effort. That’s the philosophy I’m embracing at the moment when it comes to exercise. For some reason, I’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon, despite the fact that I’ve put on a few pounds and so am reminded of the need to exercise on a very regular basis.

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Snatching pockets of time

14 March 2011 | Comments [0] »

The past couple of weeks have been very busy for me and I haven’t been home a whole lot. I did take one glorious at-home day off a week ago Saturday, where I caught up on my TV and did some knitting. (Boy that day went by fast!) I did nothing but relax, which I sorely needed.

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A little thing can make a big difference

7 March 2011 | Comments [0] »

I’m going to be 50 next year and like many people my age, my vision isn’t what it used to be. Reading, in particular can be challenging. I’ve been wearing progressive lenses (distance vision in the top, reading vision in the bottom, with a little intermediate in between) for some years.

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One busy mom's cleaning routine

11 February 2011 | Comments [4] »

Meagan Francis, a writer I’m acquainted with through the online community Freelance Success, is a mother of five. In her blog, The Happiest Mom she provides insights from her journey to happiness in motherhood.

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Three steps to new habits

4 February 2011 | Comments [2] »

A friend shared this slideshow with me from B.J. Fogg, Ph.D. of Stanford University’s Persuasive Tech Lab, entitled 3 steps to new habits. It presents a very simple approach to creating new habits.

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The clean slate

17 January 2011 | Comments [2] »

So far this year I’ve established a couple of new habits that benefited greatly by starting with a clean slate.

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How are those resolutions coming along?

10 January 2011 | Comments [1] »

It’s funny how the turn of the calendar page to a new year makes people want to change their ways and resolve to behave differently. It’s certainly true of me. While I haven’t set any resolutions, per se, I do set goals and I do try to create new habits.

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The magic of linking new routines to old

7 January 2011 | Comments [5] »

On New Year’s Eve day, the weather was unseasonably warm here in St. Louis (so warm we had a tornado!). At the risk of being indelicate, I’ll share that I spent some pre-storm time picking up the dog poop in our back yard. The snow had melted, revealing many piles.

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habitforge: another tool for creating habits

29 December 2010 | Comments [6] »

For the last ten days, I’ve been using habitforge to help me create the routine of putting my clothes away properly at the end of the day (something I’ve had trouble with for years). I’ve found it very motivating.

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Setting the bar low

17 September 2010 | Comments [2] »

I’m all for doing things well and keeping commitments. But sometimes, just a little bit of effort is better than no effort. And sometimes if you make a little effort, it can turn into more effort.

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On discipline

19 April 2010 | Comments [0] »

Discipline is an interesting word, isn’t it? When it’s used to express how one person interacts with another (a parent disciplining a child, for example, or an employer disciplining an employee), it has negative connotations. It’s no fun to have someone discipline you and, I can imagine, it’s not fun disciplining someone else.

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How's 2010 looking for you?

27 January 2010 | Comments [0] »

January is almost over (already). As I’ve blogged about before, for the last couple of years I’ve been trying to add one big habit per year that will help me be happier and more productive. In 2008, it was clearing my desk at the end of the workday. In 2009 it was whittling my email inbox down to 15 or fewer messages every day. I’m going gangbusters on both of those.

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One year at a time

21 December 2009 | Comments [2] »

I’ve written here before about the importance of habits and routines to make your life easier. I call it automating your life. Over the past couple of years, I’ve created some habits which have helped me maintain order around my home and office. (This is huge, because I’m a naturally messy person.)

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Wii Fit Plus arrives in the nick of time

11 November 2009 | Comments [1] »

If you read my blog with any regularity, you’ve read about my infatuation with the Wii Fit. I’ve found it a fun and effective way to get exercise and stay in shape. (I’m a huge couch potato and don’t need to exercise to stay trim, so it’s hard for me to motivate myself to exercise.)

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The down side to international travel

15 September 2009 | Comments [0] »

I’ve been home from Australia for six days now. Apart from the very first night home, when I slept long and hard after 24 consecutive hours of travel, I haven’t been sleeping properly. I’m a good sleeper (my mom’s narcoleptic…it’s in my genes) but I’ve experienced what it must be like to be an insomniac. Most nights, I’ve just not been getting sleepy at bedtime.

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Automating my exercise

13 August 2009 | Comments [1] »

I’ve written about my infatuation with the Wii Fit I purchased in April. I built a routine of doing Wii Fit six days a week (I’d take Thursdays off) and was going strong. I was so enthusiastic about it that my friend Margaret Lukens of New Leaf + Company interviewed me about it and included me and my Wii Fit in a blog post she wrote about exercise this week.

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Guest post on I'm an Organizing Junkie today

30 July 2009 | Comments [2] »

I am absolutely delighted to be a guest blogger on the popular blog, I’m an Organizing Junkie today. My post is on one of my favorite topics, creating routines to help maintain order.

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Being company ready

10 June 2009 | Comments [2] »

This morning, I read this wonderful Unclutterer blog post, in which Erin Doland wrote about how she didn’t freak out when she learned her in-laws were coming for an overnight stay that day. Since she’s embraced an uncluttered lifestyle, the unexpected visit didn’t mean any scrambling.

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Joe's Goals

22 January 2009 | Comments [0] »

I’ve written here many times about Don’t Break the Chain, a website that has been effective in helping me establish some routines (like cleaning off my desk every night, blogging regularly and, now, making sure the top of my bureau stays clean).

But there’s another game in town I’d like to shine a light on. It’s Joe’s Goals, a free website that allows you to track your daily goals. I use it regularly as well, though for a few months I’d let it fall by the wayside.

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New year, new routines

5 January 2009 | Comments [2] »

On January 5, 2008 I resolved to clear my desk off every day at the end of the workday. I envisioned sitting down at my desk every morning with a clear desk and hoped that it would help me start the day on the right foot.

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Happy anniversary!

10 November 2008 | Comments [2] »

Two years ago today, I wrote my first post on this blog. The topic was “What is organized?”

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The R word

21 October 2008 | Comments [0] »

Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I write here (or in my newsletter) about the importance of routines. It’s just that I’m reminded very frequently about how much of an impact they can have on order, productivity and overall peace of mind.

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Easing back into real life

14 October 2008 | Comments [0] »

I’m home from my latest trip. And I’m here to stay for awhile! It’s nice to be back sleeping in my own bed, though I’m feeling a little foggy. I blame Pip, my standard poodle, who had me up in the night several times last night needing to go out.

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Flylady: Blog of the Week

30 July 2008 | Comments [3] »

This week’s Blog of the Week is an oldie but goodie. I first became aware of Flylady back in the late nineties, before I ever dreamt of becoming a professional organizer. Technically, it’s not a blog. (It predates blogs.) But it’s frequently updated and full of treasures.

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My punctuality solution

11 July 2008 | Comments [0] »

Being on time to client appointments has been a challenge for me. I blogged about this three months ago, at which time I vowed to make some changes to my morning routine, including implementing some checklists, so that I’d be on time instead of rushing like a mad woman in the morning.

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The morning rush

2 April 2008 | Comments [0] »

I’m a punctuality-challenged person. That’s not a great trait for a professional organizer. My clients have a reasonable expectation that I’ll arrive on time. And besides, it’s just good business to be respectful of your clients’ time.

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Things Flylady has taught me

28 March 2008 | Comments [0] »

Chances are you’re familiar with Flylady. Flylady, who’s real name is Marla Cilley, has a wildly popular website which helps readers dig out from clutter, establish routines, and stay organized.

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The tyranny of the blog

18 March 2008 | Comments [0] »

I love having a blog. The freedom to write whatever I want is wonderful. (Way, way back in the day I had a column in PetLife magazine in which I could write whatever I wanted. It was exhilarating.)

But that freedom is a two-edged sword. With little structure surrounding what to write, and no deadlines, it can be very difficult to (1) take the time to post to my blog and (2) come up with something remotely meaningful to write.

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